Top 10 Tips for Sustainability in the Workplace

For many of us, we can spend up to one third of our week at work. The average person will spend over 90,000 hours working in their life! We can use this opportunity to make our workplaces a greener, more sustainable environment for everyone and keep our planet clean for the future.


Now, all of this is dependent on what type of workplace you are currently in, but whether you are outdoors or in an office, there is something on this list for everyone! Not only will all these things create a sustainable workplace, but your co-workers will feel accomplished in helping to save the environment and fight the war on waste.


1.       Recycling Bins
The first one is an easy one! Ensure recycling bins are implemented in your workplace. This is perfect for encouraging everyone to start thinking about what they are putting into landfill and becoming conscious of their green footprint. Make sure they have a clear label so no one can get mixed up or forget that it is there!

2.       10c Deposit Bin
If you live in a state where you get a 10c refund on your eligible containers (eg. bottles and cans), then pop a bin in your workplace that allows people to dispose of them there. When it is full, take it back to the recycling depot and collect your refund. The funds made from this could go towards a morning tea or a staff party or team bonding experience!

3.       Reduce Paper Use
Offices are known for using a lot of printing paper, which often ends up being disposed of. We recommend using technology where you can- putting presentations on a screen, sharing around an iPad, sending everyone a meeting agenda via email prior to them attending. Technology can save so much paper use!

4.       Reusable Water Bottles/Coffee Cups
Instead of having disposable water bottles, encourage workers to bring their own water bottle and have a tap/water fountain they can refill their bottle from. Or, encouraging employees to bring coffee from home/make one at work or use a reusable coffee cup instead of going and purchasing coffee in disposable cups. Most disposable coffee cups cannot be recycled and end up in landfill. Reusable cups and water bottles all the way!

5.       Correct E-Waste Disposal
Computers are always bound to eventually break, or phone plan upgrades come around once every two years, so it is important we dispose of our E-Waste correctly. Computers and other gadgets do not belong in a landfill bin, instead your local technology shop or phone store will be able to take your unwanted tech or guide you to where you need to go. If not, a quick Google search should direct you to your nearest scrap metal place which is likely to take E-Waste.

6.       Don’t Forget About Your Stationary
How often are you accidentally forgetting you have 3 perfectly useful pens in your bottom drawer before you go out and buy more? If a pen is completely out of ink, it may be ready to go, but some pens can actually have their ink replaced. By not forgetting about your usable pens, it stops the need to buy so many and therefore less production is needed in the long run. Same goes for highlighters and pencils.

7.       Lower Printing Waste
If you do really need to use the printer, ensuring your printing is done double sided will minimise paper waste (which should be correctly recycled anyway) and save some trees. Another path to follow is that most printer cartridges can be refilled with ink instead of disposed of and entirely new ones purchased. This is especially useful when large, industrial printers are in use as their printer cartridges are quite large and the waste adds up quickly.

8.       Compostable Waste
This one may not be possible in all workplaces but having a “green” bin or a compostable waste bin is a great way to put food scraps and paper towels to good use. If you’re in a school or day care-based workplace, even taking on a worm farm would be a great way to make great use of compostable waste and teach the future generations the importance of sustainability.

9.       Clear Signage
Sometimes we may implement all these fantastic sustainability practices, but people don’t notice or forget about them over time. Making some clear signage about where the recycling bin is, a green waste bin, where one can find a reusable cup or where the water fountain is will be so helpful! This way, it is always brought to people’s attention and they can participate in workplace sustainability as much as possible!

10.   Recycling Awareness
Sometimes, all that is needed is a bit of education. Participating in a Recycling Awareness Day in your workplace, getting a group together for Clean Up Australia Day, or encouraging the office to be a part of Plastic Free July are all great, easy ways to get people on board with workplace sustainability! If it’s on people’s minds, they will start making long-term, sustainable changes not just in the workplace, but in their homes too!

Container Deposit Systems brings decades of experience in the operation and management of beverage container recycling. CDS has an unparalleled track record of success in the areas of design, engineering, manufacturing, and automation. Container Deposit Systems works with current and prospective operators of recycling facilities seeking to grow businesses that set best practices in the industry.


By Maddi McCarthy, Marketing Coordinator.